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|HUDSON VALLEY PROGRAMMERS GROUP SPRING TOUR
Renowned animator Bill Plympton will be presenting a selection of some of his favorite work and following each screening with a Q&A at Marist College (4/20), SUNY New Paltz (4/21) and Bard College (4/22). All screenings are open to the public. Click here for ticket info...
Plympton is recognized as one of America's foremost illustrators, cartoonists and animators. His highly successful films have appeared with frenzied frequency at film festivals, on television and online. His work has received countless honors, including several Academy Award® nominations.
In 1997, Plympton received his first Oscar® nomination for his short Your Face. In 2005, he was nominated for Guard Dog. Other select shorts from Bill Plympton includeHow To Kiss, 25 Ways To Quit Smoking, Plymptoons, Eat, Parking, Guard Dog, The Fan & The Flower, Guide Dog, Shuteye Hotel, Hot Dog, Mexican Standoff.
In addition to his many shorts, Bill Plympton has made seven feature films, (five of them animated) including The Tune, Mondo Plympton, I Married A Strange Person, Mutant Aliens, and Hair High. His most recent feature Idiots and Angels has won two prizes at the Fantasporto Festival in Oporto, Portugal for Best Film and Best Screenplay.
These events are underwritten in part by the New York State Council on the Arts.
THE CAKE EATERS
Fresh off the heels of three sold out screenings of Mary Stuart Masterson's THE CAKE EATERS, the remaining HVPG co-presentation takes place Saturday April 4 at WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio in Albany. Buoyed by great reviews, the film is enjoying additional theatrical screenings throughout the country. Check THE CAKE EATERS website for additional showtimes, and while you're the there, make sure to enjoy the great soundtrack.
SAVE THE DATE: THE ANSWER MAN
John Hindman's comedy, THE ANSWER MAN follows author Arlen Faber (Jeff Daniels), who has gained fame from penning a book that has redefined spirituality. His life as a recluse becomes entangled when a chiropractor (Lauren Graham) and a recovering alcoholic (Lou Taylor Pucci) turn to him for guidance.
The film also stars Lauren Graham (Flash of Genius, Evan Almighty), Lou Taylor Pucci (Explicit Ills, Personal Velocity), Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and Olivia Thirlby (Juno).
"Impressively executed by first time director John Hindman, Arlen Faber is a delightful jab at the world of 'answer people,' those authors who write about topics far and wide, providing answers to life’s most difficult questions. As Hindman explains, he wanted to take one of these know-it-all authors and bring them to their knees. And he’s succeeded, as we find Arlen to be a very brilliant man, but also a lost soul who may not have ever had the answers in the first place. What makes it all work so well is that Hindman’s dialog is clever and insightful." (Neil Miller, Film School Rejects)
The film, which premiered in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, was acquired for U.S. release by Magnolia Pictures. They plans to release the film theatrically this summer.
"THE ANSWER MAN is a wonderfully acted and funny film,” said Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles. “We think that audiences are going to connect strongly with this moving story.”
SAVE THE DATE: MAN ON WIRE
On August 7th 1974, Philippe Petit, stepped out on a steel cable illegally rigged between New York’s Twin Towers, then the world’s tallest buildings. After nearly an hour of performing on the high wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail for the spectacular event that became known as “the artistic crime of the century.” Based on Petit’s book To Reach the Clouds (newly released in paperback and re-titled Man on Wire), the film provides a rare glimpse into this audacious high-wire world with still photographs, stunning footage and reenactments.
With interviews shot in the Catskill Region of upstate New York, Petit relives his WTC adventure, “To me, it's really so simple, that life should be lived on the edge. You have to exercise rebellion. To refuse to taper yourself to the rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every idea as a true challenge. Then you will live your life on the tightrope.”
Advance tickets for the May 2nd screening are available online at MAN ON WIRE
SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA
Jonathan Demme's spellbinding documentary will be co-presented by WFF and Stranger Than Fiction at the IFC Center on Tuesday May 12 in Manhattan. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Academy-Award® winning director Jonathan Demme and a reception.
In SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA, Demme captures the urgency, terror, humor and brilliance of single performer Spalding Gray, who stays seated behind a table at New York's Soho Performing Garage in 1987 for an intense monologue. Gray uses his experiences in Thailand filming the 1984 Academy Award winning film The Killing Fields as a springboard for all sorts of hilarious, moving digressions, notably a concise and bone-chilling history of Cambodia, and the mass murders brought about by Pol-Pot in the 1970's. There's also Gray's quest for "the perfect moment," a spiritual pursuit that involves drugs, detailed descriptions of the Bangkok brothels, and the apprehension involved in trying to memorize lines for the film. Fellow performance artist Laurie Anderson composed the background music, which along with the ingenious lighting and ambient sound effects perfectly accents Gray's delivery. Demme has crafted a brilliant film of a brilliant performer, infusing the proceedings with a real magnetic urgency, making it hard to look away even for an instant.
Greg Mottola's ADVENTURELAND hits theaters April 3 care of Miramax Films.
It's the summer of 1987, and James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), an uptight recent college grad, can't wait to embark on his dream tour of Europe. But when his parents announce they can no longer subsidize his trip, James has little choice but to take a lowly job at a local amusement park. Forget about German beer, world-famous museums and cute French girls. James' summer will now be populated by belligerent dads, stuffed pandas, and screaming kids high on cotton candy. Lucky for James, what should have been his worst summer ever turns into quite an adventure as he discovers love in the most unlikely place with his captivating co-worker Em (Kristen Stewart), and learns to loosen up.
The film stars Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale), Kristen Stewart (Twilight, The Cake Eaters), Ryan Reynolds (Just Friends, Van Wilder), Martin Starr (Knocked Up, Superbad), and Saturday Night Live cast members Kristen Wiig (Knocked Up) and Bill Hader (Superbad, Tropic Thunder)
AMERICAN SWING (WFF 2008) was released by Magnolia Pictures on March 27 in select theaters.
Outrageous. Hilarious. Provocative. None of these adequately describe Matty Kauffman and Jon Hart's sex documentary AMERICAN SWING. In the 1970's the New York club scene was full of all types of exotic places. For swingers, Plato's Retreat was home. Sitting on the throne of the swinging scene was Larry Levinson: the King of Swing and owner of Plato's. During the club's operation from 1977 to 1985, Larry and his gang of swinging couples, inquisitive singles and celebrities of all kinds enjoyed dancing, drinking, drugs and, of course, the live group sex. Despite attacks from the media, politicians, the IRS and finally the Mayor of New York, Larry responded to his critics with a sometimes jovial, always honest defense of the lifestyle. Featuring in-depth interviews with staff and guests of Plato's Retreat, media and government officials, and uncensored video and pictures of the club at its height, AMERICAN SWING, tells the tale of the rise and fall of swing life. (Gabriel Meyers)
EXPLICIT ILLS (WFF 2008), starring Rosario Dawson and Paul Dano, was held over at the Angelika in NYC and opens in Los Angeles on March 20 at the Laemmle Sunset 5. Check Peace Arch Entertainment for other select cities and dates.
First time filmmaker Mark Webber crafts a powerful and emotional drama that connects seemingly unconnected lives in a woven series of moving vignettes. Recalling the vivid storytelling of Paul Haggis' Crash, EXPLICIT ILLS circles within the lives of typical inner city Philadelphians to paint a moving image of a day in the life. Featuring the exceptional Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood) and a terrific ensemble cast, EXPLICIT ILLS showcases outstanding performances and award winning cinematography to illuminate the normally dark and misunderstood world of America's poverty stricken communities. Webber has created a timely and poignant example of the need for better communal understanding and social transformation, while pushing the envelope of traditional storytelling. EXPLICIT ILLS will open the viewer's eyes to the unwitting links we have to everyone around us. (Michael Burke)
GUEST OF CINDY SHERMAN
Many of you may think you know all there is to know about the famous 90's photographer/film director Cindy Sherman, but think again. Told from the incredibly fresh perspective of Paul H-O, the host of the provocative public access television show "GalleryBeat," GUEST OF CINDY SHERMAN (WFF 2008) tells the story of a series of in-depth interviews that turned into a love affair between H-O and Sherman. Their relationship quickly soured when H-O began to realize that he was starting to lose his public identity, becoming no more than Cindy Sherman's plus one. This uniquely personal and comprehensive document exposes the fragility of one man's ego in the light of fame and fortune. Co-directed by H-O himself, along with director Tom Donahue, GUEST OF CINDY SHERMAN paints a vibrant portrait of the ever-changing New York art scene as a backdrop to a torrent and destructive relationship between two key figures of the time. (Mike Lerman)
IN A DREAM
Jeremiah Zagar's IN A DREAM, the 2008 WFF winner of Best Documentary Feature and the James Lyons Best Editing Award, will be released by International Film Circuit, Inc. The doc opens at the Cinema Village in NYC on April 10.
It is a rare occurrence when a portrait is able to intimately capture both the public and private details of an artist on an equally grand scale. But when documentary filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar set out to make a portrait of his father Isaiah, a brilliant and prolific mosaic mural artist from Philadelphia, he never could have predicted the secrets he would uncover.
Director/Writer/Cinematographer Cary Fukunaga first impacted Woodstock audiences with his remarkable short film Victoria Para Chino (2004 winner of the Diane Seligman Award for Best Student Short at WFF) and again with his cinematography for Sikumi (2008 winner of the Diane Seligman Award for Best Student Short at WFF)
SIN NOMBRE, the winner of the Directing Award and the Excellence in Cinematography Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, is an epic dramatic thriller written and directed by Student Academy Award winner Cary Joji Fukunaga in his feature debut.
Seeking the promise of America, a beautiful young Honduran woman, Sayra (Paulina Gaytan), joins her father and uncle on an odyssey to cross the gauntlet of the Latin American countryside en route to the United States. Along the way she crosses paths with a teenaged Mexican gang member, El Casper (Edgar M. Flores), who is maneuvering to outrun his violent past and elude his unforgiving former associates. Together they must rely on faith, trust and street smarts if they are to survive their increasingly perilous journey towards the hope of new lives.
Catch the latest release from Advisory Board member Peter Saraf and Big Beach Films (Little Miss Sunshine). The film is in theaters care of Overture Films. For schedule details, visit SUNSHINE CLEANING.
A single mom and her slacker sister find an unexpected way to turn their lives around in the off-beat dramatic comedy SUNSHINE CLEANING. Directed by Christine Jeffs (Rain, Sylvia), this uplifting film about an average family that finds the path to its dreams in an unlikely setting screened in competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
SUNSHINE CLEANING's stellar cast includes Academy Award Nominee Amy Adams (Enchanted), Oscar winner Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada), Steve Zahn (Happy, Texas), Clifton Collins, Jr. (Capote), Mary Lynn Rajskub ("24") and Jason Spevack.
The WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL (Sept 30th – October 4th, 2009) is currently accepting submissions in all categories. Maverick Awards are presented for Best Feature ($5000 cash), Best Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Animation. Cash, prizes and/or services are given out in each category. Audience Awards are presented for Best Feature and Best Documentary. Award sponsors have included The Lee Marvin Estate, the late James Lyons, Lowel-Light, Apple Computers, Post Factory, Baseline Studio System and others.
Industry participants have included Ang Lee, Kevin Smith, Steve Buscemi, Peter Saraf (Big Beach Films), Jonathan Sehring (IFC), Ted Sarandos (Netflix), Bob Berney, Eamonn Bowles (Magnolia Pictures), Mark Urman (Senator), Bingham Ray (Kimmel Entertainment), James Schamus (Focus Features), Fisher Stevens (Greenstreet Productions), John Sloss (Cinetic Media), Ira Deutchman (Emerging Pictures), Ron Mann (Films We Like), John Pierson (Grainy Pictures), John Anderson, Ryan Werner (IFC), Tom Quinn (Magnolia Pictures), Christine Vachon (Killer Films), Andrew Hurwitz, Ira Schreck, Mira Nair, Todd Haynes, Woody Harrelson, Tim Robbins, Marcia Gay Harden, Lili Taylor, D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, Barbara Kopple, Leon Gast, Liz Garbus, Brett Morgen, Thelma Adams, Robert Downey, Zachary Sklar, Kevin Bacon, Ethan Hawke, Matt Dillon, Rosie Perez and many others.
To apply online, and for details, visit ENTRY FORM
HUDSON VALLEY FILM COMMISSION NEWS & MORE
While in Austin, film commission diirector Laurent Rejto had the pleasure of meeting with director Joe Maggio (PAPER COVERS ROCK) and confirming that he will in fact be shooting his next feature film in the Hudson Valley this coming May. We can’t reveal much about BITTER FEAST other than the fact that it is being produced by horror maestro Larry Fessenden and Glass Eye Pix, and that it will feature a menu of culinary delights with a side order of horror.
Maggio's PAPER COVERS ROCK is currently available from IFC On Demand (check your cable TV). PAPER COVERS ROCK tells the story of Sam, a troubled young woman who loses custody of her six year-old daughter in the wake of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. After a brief stay at a psychiatric facility, Sam moves in with her older sister Ed, who graciously offers to help Sam piece her life together. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and it's not at all clear whether Ed is out to save or destroy Sam.
NY STATE eyes $350 mil for productions
NEW YORK -- New York would free up an additional $350 million for an existing film and TV production tax credit program under a budget agreement reached in Albany over the weekend.
Industry folks said, though, that the funding is a small Band-Aid for the short-term rather than a long-term solution. Their main concern: The new funding won't attract and bind TV shows to the state, and it likely will run out within less than a year.
New York state lawmakers are set to vote on the budget bill by Wednesday, with political observers saying its passage is far from certain given a secretive budgeting process, small majorities in the legislature and a big budget deficit.
Industry observers said the limited tax credit financing for productions in the Empire State could be a blow to New York's hopes to attract new TV shows and maybe even efforts to retain existing shows like "30 Rock."
"We are going to get work but not long-term commitments," said John Johnston, executive director of the New York Production Alliance. "There is no long-term guarantee for TV shows that want to come to the state."
He did say, however, that NYPA is "very grateful that the state recognized the importance of the industry."
Industry reps have been pushing hard to renew funding for the state's popular 30% tax credit on below-the-line production costs that runs through 2013 and had attracted films and TV shows to the Empire State. They have been fighting for unlimited funding, pointing to the financial benefit the program has brought to the state. They have also argued that productions, especially in TV, need planning security when putting together their budgets and deciding on a location.
The new funding provision, however, is capped, and industry observers expect the money to run out quickly. Last year alone, the state allocated $460 million in tax incentives.
The state's previous $690 million tax incentives program ran out of money earlier this year because of its popularity, and Gov. David Paterson's budget draft this year included no new funding. Industry folks have lobbied the State Assembly and Senate to add more funding, pointing to an Ernst & Young study that showed the positive effect of the tax credits on the state's tax revenue and employment.
Read the entire article online at The Hollywood Reporter
A NIGHT OF FILMS BY CONSTANT VAN HOEVEN
Practice Pictures presents, "A Night of Films by Constant Van Hoeven"
Three films by award winning international filmmaker Constant van Hoeven. The night will include a special sneak preview of Danse Macabre, which was shot right here in the Hudson Valley. Cast and Crew from Danse Macabre will be present.
All the Real Girls debut record "My Friends are Going to be Strangers" will drop on itunes April 28. Recorded in an old mill this past winter in Rollinsford, New Hampshire, the album was produced and mixed by jon nolan and mastered in Omaha, Nebraska by Doug Van Sloun (Bright Eyes, Black Mountain, She & Him)...
On April 16th, All the Real Girls will be playing at the National Underground in New York City! Band members include Matthew Cosby, Wyatt King, Elijah Ocean and 2008 WFF box office co-manager Peter Donovan. Check them out live and online.
"...a ramshackle pop rock sound, inviting and chaotic... and they've got a way with words..." - Sam Pfeifle, The Portland Phoenix
The great Donald Westlake wrote "You're going to love meeting Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs, a pair of hip homicide detectives with the LAPD; unless, of course, you're the perp. Smart, funny and intuitive, Lomax and Biggs glide through the overlit shoals of Los Angeles like sharks through ginger ale. As up to the minute as they are intensely observant, the guys, this time, prowl the golden muck of the Los Angeles real estate bubble to fine effect; an exhilarating read."
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